February 14, 2019

Udall Statement on Confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) issued the following statement after voting against the confirmation of William Barr to serve as attorney general:

“The Trump attorney general’s office has been ground-zero for many of this administration’s most xenophobic, hateful, and anti-immigrant policies – including family separation – all of which will leave a permanent stain on our nation’s history. Unfortunately, Mr. Barr has given the American people little reason to believe he will right these wrongs or move the administration away from its deeply destructive policies at the Department of Justice, policies that have targeted and continue to target communities in New Mexico, and that fly in the face of what we stand for as a state and a nation. I cannot support Mr. Barr’s nomination given this administration’s troubling record and views on immigration, civil and voting rights, LBGTQ rights, consumer protections, vital health care protections, civil liberties and surveillance, and his long-documented views in favor of unchecked executive power.

“No American, not even the president, is above the law, and the next attorney general must stand up for this foundational ideal. Any attempt to obstruct, prematurely terminate, or conceal the findings of the special counsel’s investigation, or interfere in other federal investigations of the president’s family, businesses, campaign team, or other close associates, would be a constitutional crisis for our country. Mr. Barr’s prior statements and writings – which indicate overwhelmingly expansive views of executive power -- give no assurance that as attorney general he would protect this investigation, or stand up to the president’s attempts to abuse his office. This administration has given New Mexicans too many reasons to fear that the truth will be withheld from them, and Mr. Barr’s refusal to commit to wholly releasing special counsel Mueller’s report only compounds those legitimate concerns.

“After studying Mr. Barr’s record on issues that are critical to New Mexicans, I am afraid that he will double down on many of the president’s worst policies and will hesitate to stand up against attempts to circumvent the law to protect the president’s personal interests. While Mr. Barr has had a long and notable legal career, I cannot support his confirmation.”